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And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Cubs 9, Pirates 5: Of all the wacky twists and turns encapsulating the Cubs’ 33rd win of the season, none was stranger than this:

The reason for the impromptu uniform redesign? According to MLB.com’s Chris Landers and Carrie Muskat, pitchers cannot wear long white sleeves, as it obscures the baseball from the batter’s view. Luckily, the rudimentary tailoring skills of one Cubs’ trainer saved the day.

Cardinals 11, Orioles 2: The Cardinals snapped their three-game losing streak in spectacular fashion on Friday, distributing a season-best five home runs to rout the fourth-place Orioles. From Matt Carpenter’s blast in the sixth inning through Trey Mancini’s homer in the ninth, the only way either team scored was via the long ball.

Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 4: The Diamondbacks furthered their five-win streak on Friday, topping the Phillies to bring themselves within one game of the division lead. Gregor Blanco powered the D-backs’ comeback in the seventh inning, postmarking a 2-2 curveball from Aaron Nola to the right field stands, while Jake Lamb supplied the winning run on a sac fly.

White Sox 11, Blue Jays 4: The White Sox continued dominating their AL East rivals with an 11-run showing against the Blue Jays, backed by seven solid innings from Jose Quintana and a five-run display from Melky Cabrera.

Jose Quintana pitched into the seventh inning for the first time since May 19, issuing two runs on five hits and two walks and whiffing five of 25 batters. The offense carried the rest of the game, cushioning Quintana’s efforts with Jose Abreu’s three-RBI performance, Melky’s five-RBI performance and a handful of extra runs from Todd Frazier, Tim Anderson and Alex Hanson.

Tigers 13, Rays 4: After getting swept in a two-game series against the Diamondbacks earlier this week, the Tigers are turning things around. They cemented back-to-back wins against the Rays with a 13-run explosion on Friday, earning 10 of their 13 runs on two consecutive five-run innings against the Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez and Austin Pruitt. Highlighted in the win? A smattering of stellar defensive plays, including a slick throw from shortstop Jose Iglesias:

Nationals 7, Mets 2: Backing Max Scherzer‘s sterling start: Three home runs, one each from Matt Wieters, Michael Taylor and Anthony Rendon. Wieters put the Nats on the board in the third inning with a first-pitch shot off of Steven Matz:

Wieters’ leadoff solo shot was immediately followed by a long ball from Michael Taylor, his eighth of the season. Rendon rounded out the bunch, delivering a 379-foot tater to right field to cement a four-run lead in the sixth.

The Mets staged a late-game rally with solo homers from Jose Reyes and Jay Bruce in the eighth and ninth innings, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Nats, who put up another three runs in the ninth to take the game, 7-2.

Dodgers 3, Reds 1: Scooter Gennett didn’t get the opportunity to help the Reds during their 3-1 loss on Friday, taking a much-needed day off after his historic 10-RBI performance on Tuesday. The team still found a way to include him, however, hosting a pregame ceremony to honor Gennett for his four-homer performance and gifting him with a red scooter.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, continued their march toward first place with a dominant eight innings from Alex Wood, who held the Reds to just four hits and one run in his seventh win of the year.

Marlins 5, Braves 0: Perhaps The Freeze’s untimely loss was a harbinger of defeat for the Braves. It’s equally as likely that the Braves’ offense had something to do with it, collecting just four hits off of Dan Straily while the Marlins coasted to their 5-0 finish — their first team shutout since May 7.

Rangers 10, Mariners 4: Tyson Ross had been waiting for this moment since last April. The Rangers’ right-hander took the mound on Friday after battling chronic shoulder issues for the last year, and by all appearances seemed to have returned to the 3.26 ERA, 4.4 fWAR hurler the Padres saw in 2015. He limited the Mariners to just two runs in 5 2/3 innings, issuing three walks and striking out five batters in his first win of the season.

The Mariners, on the other hand, took a tough loss in what looked like James Paxton‘s worst start of the year. Paxton was forced out after 3 2/3 innings, giving up a season-high seven runs and striking out just four of 21 batters.

Brewers 6, Padres 5 (10 innings): Eric Thames is still enjoying an unprecedented power surge this season, with 19 home runs to his name and an equally impressive 1.012 OPS through his first 62 games. He smacked a walk-off home run during the 10th inning of the Brewers’ win, reaching a team-highest launch angle of 41 degrees as the ball skimmed the top of the wall and bounced into the left field bullpen.

Thames is no stranger to the hype that has surrounded his stunning return to Major League Baseball, but admitted some confusion over the Brewers’ rowdy postgame celebrations, which have improved on the shaving cream pies and Gatorade showers he was subject to during his first major league run.

I didn’t know about the jersey rip-off and the undershirt rip-off,” Thames told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. “It’s like, my nipple is hanging out, I’ve got all these drinks in my eyes. My eyes are still burning from it, but obviously it’s great the guys are having fun.

Red Sox 2, Astros 1: Mookie Betts‘ solo home run proved the deciding factor in Friday’s series opener, but the Red Sox nearly handed their one-run lead back to the Astros after a peculiar play in the eighth inning. With one out and runners on first and second base, the Astros’ Evan Gattis swung at a changeup from Matt Barnes. Christian Vasquez gloved the ball behind the plate and fired it to third, catching the tip of Gattis’ bat on its way out. Jose Altuve stole third base while Josh Rutledge stepped off the bag to field a ball that never arrived — it instead ricocheted toward first base, where it was scooped by Barnes.

The rest of the game was anticlimactic by comparison: Gattis hit into a rally-killing double play on the next pitch and Craig Kimbrel polished off the win with a scoreless ninth for his 19th save of the year.

Indians 8, Twins 1: The Indians are fast closing in on first place in the AL Central, thanks in part to a strong showing from Carlos Carrasco this weekend. The right-hander tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball, keeping the Twins to one run and striking out seven of 25 batters. Minnesota left-hander Nik Turley, on the other hand, has yet to win a game this season. He got shelled in 4 2/3 innings, taking his first loss after giving up eight runs on nine hits and four walks.

Rockies 10, Giants 8: Pitchers’ home runs should count more than regular home runs, right? Given their relative rarity, it only seems fair.

Unfortunately, that wouldn’t have done much good for the Giants on Friday. Jeff Samardzija‘s monster home run in the fifth inning — 446 feet, a Statcast record for power-hitting pitchers — gave the Giants a temporary 4-1 lead, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Rockies’ five-run surge in the bottom of the fifth.

Athletics 7, Yankees 6: Matt Chapman looked right at home during his first major league game. The rookie third baseman pounced on a curveball from Yankees’ right-hander Jonathan Holder, lashing it to left field to extend the A’s lead to 7-6 in the eighth inning.

That ended up being the difference maker, giving the A’s just the edge they needed to… well, maintain their last-place standing in the AL West.

Royals 3, Angels 1: Despite the flurry of no-hitters over the last five years (18, to be exact), no MLB pitcher has managed to toss a perfect game since Felix Hernandez‘s gem for the Mariners in 2012. Ian Kennedy gave it his best shot on Friday night, coming 10 outs shy of his first career perfecto before Cliff Pennington ripped a 3-1 homer in the sixth inning.

According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, Kennedy didn’t appear to bear any ill will towards Pennington for breaking up his bid:

I know Cliff pretty well,” Kennedy said, smiling. “I mean, he’s a terrible friend. I told him he’s a terrible friend and I was deleting his phone number. Nah, if I was going to give it up, at least it was to a friend.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Obviously the big story last night was Reds left fielder Scooter Gennett hitting four homers and driving in ten runs as the Reds romped over the Cardinals. 13-1. That was pretty random, eh? Gennett, coming in to last night only had 38 homers in his entire four year career, and then he uncorks that crazy night. I love how random baseball can be sometimes.

My personal preference is to just let weirdness be weirdness when it comes to baseball oddities like that. You can’t predict them so you probably should just let it all pleasantly wash over you rather than StatCast it and analyze it to death. We’re all gonna remember Scooter Freakin’ Gennett as a guy who hit four homers in a game, much like the way we remember Mark Whiten and a couple of others for that. Barring an MVP Award or something, this will be his legacy and it’s a damn fine one to have, so who cares what the launch angle was, you know?

Of course, we are in the baseball content business here, so we’ll take some extra looks at the feat. Here is Bill’s look at the significance of it all, statistically speaking, from last night. You can see all four of the homers here:

 

My final take on it: last night, just after Gennett hit his fourth homer, I was goofing around on Twitter with a couple of friends, imagining how such a rare and spectacular feat might be described by the player after the game. We joked that they’d still use the same cliches. Like this:

Here’s what Gennett actually said:

Baseball: it’s always there for us, never changing in an increasingly chaotic and ever-changing world. God bless ballplayers, everywhere. God bless their executed pitches, good pitches to hit and their lack of a desire to press and do too much out there, even when they do superhuman things.

Here are the scores, here are the highlights:

Reds 13, Cardinals 1: Lost in Gennett’s night is the fact that Reds starter Tim Adleman shut the Cards down, allowing only one run over seven innings and that Adam Wainwright, who gave up only one homer, the grand slam, to Gennett, got shelled for nine runs overall in less than four innings. Certainly not a night the Cardinals are gonna want to think about for long.

Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: The Red Sox and Yankees play a game that can go right up there with their classic rivalry games from 15 years ago. Not because the game was fantastic, but because it took over three and a half hours for them to play it despite there being only 15 hits between the two teams. Mitch MorelandHanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi all hit homers off of Masahiro Tanaka, who continues to struggle mightily and is probably due for a DL stint with one of those phantom injuries like the one Bartolo Colon was given yesterday. Craig Kimbrel closed the game out by striking out five batters in an inning and a third thanks to one of them reaching on a wild pitch. Kimbrel has been mind-bogglingly good lately. He’s retired 80 batters on the year. Fifty-three of those 80 were retired via strikeout. He’s on a pace to strike out 151 guys. Last year that would’ve put him in 25th place in the American League in strikeouts. This from a guy who pitches one inning a night. Mercy.

Orioles 6, Pirates 5: The Pirates led late but Jonathan Schoop tied it in the ninth with his second homer of the game — we call that a half-Scooter in the biz — and Mark Trumbo singled home a run in the 10th to complete the comeback.

Angels 5, Tigers 3: The Angels had a 4-0 lead mid-game, the Tigers crept back in and tried to rally in the ninth but Bud Norris stopped the bleeding. But just barely. The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs and Norris fell behind 3-0 to Alex Avila. He managed to strike Avila out though, with Avila getting caught looking at strike three. Phew. Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron homered for the Angels.

White Sox 4, Rays 2Avisail Garcia, Yolmer Sanchez and Todd Frazier homered for the White Sox (a collective .75Gennett, per StatCast or whatever) as they snap a five-game losing streak. Jose Quintana was solid after tossing complete stink bombs in his previous two outings.

Phillies 3, Braves 1: Aaron Nola allowed one run on five hits over eight innings. Odubel Herrera doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth and then came around to score on a balk later in the inning. Someone in the Spanish-speaking press should ask Mike Schmidt for his opinions on that and then disparage him if he answers in English.

Brewers 5, Giants 2: Chase Anderson pitched seven and two-thirds shutout innings and [all together now] helped is own cause by doubling in a run in the third. Matt Cain gave up five runs on ten hits in five innings. After a solid April that had a lot of people talking about his comeback, Cain has seen his ERA climb over two and a half runs in seven starts.

Rangers 10, Mets 8: Rangers pitchers gave up five homers — and Jay Bruce almost hit another one, only to have it robbed by Jared Hoying — to the Mets but their hitters bailed ’em out by rattling off ten runs on 16 hits. Joey Gallo‘s 17th homer on the year came in the third inning, making it 5-4 Texas. There was a lot more scoring to come, but that put the Rangers up for good in this one.

Cubs 10, Marlins 2: Jake Arrieta pitched two-hit ball into the seventh and Anthony Rizzo drove in four as the Cubs win their fifth in a row. That comes on the heels of six straight losses. Streaky.

Royals 9, Astros 7: Speaking of streaks, the Astros’ 11-game run is now over thanks to Mike Moustakas‘ two-run shot with two outs in the ninth to help Kansas City rally back from a six-run deficit. On any other morning we slap Moustakas’ face up at the top of this post.

Rockies 11, Indians 3: Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela hit a three-run double in the second inning and was steady into the seventh inning as the Rockies romped. Mark Reynolds hit two homers and drove in five.

Diamondbacks 10, Padres 2: Robbie Ray continues his torrid run, striking out 11 Padres batters and allowing just one run while pitching into the seventh. Jake Lamb drove in four and Chris Owings knocked in three.

Athletics 4, Blue Jays 1: Jesse Hahn was activated from the DL and came in to allow only an unearned run in six innings. Khris Davis knocked in two and Ryon Healy hit an RBI.

Mariners 12, Twins 3Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager each hit three-run homers as the M’s stay hot, winning their eighth game in nine tries. All that offense made up for a mediocre James Paxton start.

Nationals 2, Dodgers 1: Death taxes and Max Scherzer striking out a bunch of dudes. Here he allowed only an unearned run in seven innings and struck out 14 Dodgers batters. His K-totals in his last three starts: 14, 11 and 13. He’s started 12 games this year. He’s struck out ten or more guys in half of them.

Carlos Correa, Charlie Blackmon are MLB’s Players of the Month

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Major League Baseball has announced its May award winners. They are as follows:

Players of the Month

Pitchers of the Month

Rookies of the Month

Relievers of the Month

Correa batted .386 (39-for-101) with 24 runs scored, eight doubles, seven home runs and 26 RBI in May. Blackmon hit .359 (42-for-117) with 24 runs scored, six doubles, five triples, six home runs, 29 RBI and stole three bases.

McCullers compiled a 4-0 record with a 0.99 ERA and 37 strikeouts over 36.1 innings pitched in six starts. Wood went 5-0 with a 1.27 ERA and K/BB ratio of 41/7 in 28.1 innings across six starts.

Judge batted .347 (33-for-95) with 17 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 17 RBI, 15 walks and three stolen bases. This is his second straight Rookie of the Month Award. Bellinger hit .245 (26-for-106) with 22 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, nine home runs, 27 RBI, 11 walks and a stolen base.

Kimbrel was 7-for-7 in save opportunities in May, striking out 25 opposing batters in 12.2 innings of work. He has not allowed a hit to opposing batters over their last 31 plate appearances. Holland was 8-for-8 in save opportunities. It was his second consecutive NL Reliever of the Month Award.